Hyundai sales hit the brakes

7 Days in Dubai - - BUSINESS -

Bri­tish en­ergy pro­ducer BP saw its first-quar­ter earn­ings slump by 79 per cent as low gas and oil prices con­tin­ued to take their toll. The com­pany yes­ter­day re­ported that its un­der­ly­ing re­place­ment cost profit - the oil in­dus­try stan­dard, which ex­cludes non­op­er­a­tional items and the value of oil in­ven­to­ries - dropped to $532 mil­lion, from $2.58 bil­lion in the first quar­ter of 2015. Once all one-off costs and taxes are ac­counted for, BP re­ported a net loss of $583 mil­lion, com­pared with net in­come of $2.6 bil­lion a year ear­lier. Still, in­vestors ap­peared cheered by the re­sults, and BP’s share price was trad­ing 3.2 per cent higher at 372 pence in early Lon­don trad­ing. “The jump comes af­ter news that Q1 un­der­ly­ing per­for­mance - ex­clud­ing a host of one-offs and ex­tra­or­di­nary charges - was much bet­ter than ex­pec­ta­tions,” said Mike van Dulken, head of re­search at Ac­cendo Mar­kets. BP said yes­ter­day that it had re­duced cash costs by $4.6 bil­lion over 2014 lev­els and cut or­ganic cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture to $3.9 bil­lion in the first quar­ter of this year from $4.4 bil­lion a year ear­lier. “De­spite the chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment, we are driv­ing to­wards our near-term goal of re­bal­anc­ing BP’s cash flows,” Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Bob Dud­ley said. “Op­er­a­tional per­for­mance is strong and our work to re­set costs has con­sid­er­able mo­men­tum and is de­liv­er­ing re­sults.” Hyundai Mo­tor Co has re­ported a 12 per cent drop in its first-quar­ter net profit as lower sales in China, Rus­sia and Brazil out­weighed higher ve­hi­cle ship­ments at home and favourable for­eign ex­change rates. South Korea’s largest au­tomaker said its Jan­uary-March net in­come was 1.7 tril­lion won ($1.5 bil­lion), com­pared with 1.91 tril­lion in 2015. The re­sults were bet­ter than ex­pected: an­a­lysts ex­pected 1.53 tril­lion won, ac­cord­ing to Fac­tSet, a fi­nan­cial data provider. The com­pany blamed weak de­mand in emerg­ing mar­kets and oil-ex­port­ing coun­tries. But the re­sults could reaf­firm con­cerns about its com­pet­i­tive­ness in China, the world’s largest auto mar­ket. Last year, the rise of Chi­nese lo­cal brands and Chi­nese con­sumers’ pref­er­ence for sports util­ity ve­hi­cles over sedans took a toll on Hyundai and other for­eign car mak­ers.

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